The regulation of civil aircraft is governed by the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention). From that Convention and subsequent international treaties, international rights and freedoms of air for civil aircraft, including the right to refuel, are derived.
Ireland’s rights and obligations under the Convention have been incorporated into Irish law through the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1946 (as amended). The legislation provides that the Minister for Transport has primary responsibility for the regulation of civil aircraft, including those chartered to other States.
Under the Air Navigation (Carriage of War, Weapons and dangerous Goods) Order 1973, as amended, civil aircraft are prohibited from carrying weapons or munitions in Irish sovereign airspace or into Irish airports unless they receive an exemption from the Minister for Transport.
In considering such applications, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport seeks the advice of relevant Government Departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Consistent with our stated policy my Department recommends against the carriage of munitions, with exceptions made for unloaded personal weapons or those intended for international crisis management and peace support operations.
In the first six months of this year, my Department has recommended against approval of 12 applications for exemptions.